Shipping Association of Jamaica past president Harriat ‘Harry’ Maragh was conferred on November 15, 2019, with a Doctor of Letters in cruise shipping and marine tourism honoris causa by the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) during their annual graduation ceremony, held at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
As a part of the ceremony conferring the honorary doctorate, the following citation of his life and work was read:
“Harriat ‘Harry’ Maragh ideator, trailblazer, visionary, self-made businessman and shipping industry stalwart.
“Harry Maragh is a hard worker and an astute businessman. His success is in large part attributable to his strong work ethic, diligence, natural inclination to serve, and capacity to view challenges as opportunities for growth, development and the actualisation of solutions. His standard is excellence, and he leads by example.
“In spite of all his achievements and accolades, humility remains one of his hallmarks, and he shows great care for the less fortunate, the environment and animals. He is the embodiment of the concept of servant leadership and celebrates the contribution of his team, to his success. He is as unassuming as he is brilliant.
“Where did it all start for Harry Maragh? The youngest of five children, his father, who migrated from India, and his mother, who was from St Mary, operated a grocery shop in Greenwich Town, Kingston, close to the port where he used to catch fish and crabs. His parents were hard workers who successfully managed their business and passed on their business acumen to him at an early age. In 1965, the Calabar alumnus, an avid cricketer, moved to Canada to study chemistry at Humber College. After the death of his father, he returned home to assist his mother. This was to have been a temporary break, but fate stepped in. Bitten by the shipping bug, he found his passion. His first industry job was as a shipping agent with R.S. Gamble and Sons, with key focus being the marketing of Hapag Lloyd. During his nine-year tenure, he learnt every aspect of the shipping and freight business and repeatedly emerged as top salesman.
“With a combination of passion, tenacity of purpose, innovativeness, solid work ethic and the ability to take ideas from concept to actualisation, he soon moved to the supervisory level, the beginning of his rise to prominence within the shipping industry. A man of immense vision, he knew ‘from Whappy kill Fill-up’ that he would revolutionise the Jamaican and Caribbean shipping industries. He worked for a brief period in the United States, then returned to Jamaica as the sales executive for Lannaman and Morris Shipping Company. By dint of hard work and standards of excellence, his upward mobility was assured. He held several positions in the company and after 10 years, became managing director. By 1997, he was the owner of the company. Through his thought leadership and vision and under his direction, Lannaman and Morris Group of Companies is now ranked as the Caribbean’s most diversified shipping company.
“Harry Maragh is a well-respected veteran in the shipping industry, his achievements include the establishment of regional routes with the world’s largest cruise line, Carnival Cruise Line, and the Evergreen Shipping Line. He is also credited as the architect of the landmark acquisition of Kingston Wharves from GraceKennedy, and was the linchpin in the development and growth of Sea freight Shipping Lines, transforming it into the largest shipping line owned and managed by a Caribbean national. He later became Chairman and major shareholder.
He is a director of Kingston Wharves Limited, has been chairman of the Kingston Port Workers Superannuation Fund for over 16 years, founding manager of the Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Terminal for over 40 years, and still manages it on behalf of the Port Authority of Jamaica. He served as president of the Shipping Association of Jamaica from 2003 to 2006 and remains an honorary member. He is also chairman of Main Event Entertainment Group and a director of Margaritaville, Turks and Caicos since 2017. He is also a director of Express Catering Limited, which operates more than 25 shops in the post-security zone of Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport.
“His contribution to the CMU is immeasurable. He served on the board of directors, as a trustee on the CMU Trust Fund, contributed to the purchase of the CMU buses and maintains his role as an adviser of the university.
“Confidence and tenacity are key contributors to the success of this positive, solutions-oriented ideator, who perceives challenges, not as obstacles, but opportunities for growth, change and the creation of new systems and solutions. For his achievements, he will be immortalised in the global annals of shipping.
“Based on his tremendous support for the CMU, his expertise, visionary leadership and outstanding contribution to the Jamaican and Caribbean shipping industries, the CMU is proud to confer upon Harriat ‘Harry’ Maragh the degree of Doctor of Letters in Cruise Shipping and marine tourism, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.